When I started shooting weddings, I would look at beautiful images of wedding details for hours (and that is not an exaggeration)! I always wondered how they could get every detail so perfect while creating such beautiful backgrounds. I knew that if just I gave myself some extra time at every wedding I would begin to master the art of the ring shot. Fast forward to today and details are seriously my jam! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE bridal portraits, but there’s something magical about photographing details. When I’m behind the lens and I see the dreamy fabrics turning into a softly focused blob of beautifulness, my heart is truly in its happy place. The tips below are some of the things I’ve learned along the way that I would like to share with you.
This one was hard for me! I always felt like I didn’t have the time to mess with manual focus on a wedding day, so I played around at home with my own jewelry until I got it right, and boy am I glad I did! I set my macro lens to manual focus and make sure my IS (image stabilization) is on. Then, I find a general composition using the focus ring. Next, move your upper torso ever so slightly almost as if you are doing a slight rocking motion until you achieve your perfect focus.
I could get lost at Hobby Lobby for days looking for lacey and shiny items to use, but I’ve had to pull the reins back because I don’t necessarily want to carry an entire suitcase of goodies with me on the wedding day. The main image on this blog post has only 2 items besides the ring. One is the veil that had some beautiful details on the side that I knew would add nice visual interest, and the second was actually a blush colored pillow with sparkly buttons on it. I knew I wanted the buttons to fade in the background, so I placed the veil on top of the pillow in 2 layers for added softness and more of a dreamy look. Lastly, I placed the ring on top the veil. This image was shot at F 2.8 ISO 400 at 1/250th second. I will often bring ribbons, pieces of scrapbook paper, lace or blush colored tulle with me to weddings to help style specific shots. Necklaces make amazing backdrops as well. Let’s not forget about the pretty pillows that are in the bridal suite!
Whenever I’m photographing details I try to either go outside on a balcony out of the way, or find a window close by. I side-light a chair or my styling board and then add some “fill” light with a white reflector. If for some reason I don’t have one available, I can even use a pillow or anything white that will reflect light back in. Try not to get too much light on the diamond as you won’t be able to achieve focus and your diamond won’t be as clear from all the light that’s hitting it.
When trying to achieve your focus, point focus on the prongs closets to your camera. This is the easiest way I have found to lock in your focus. Your eyes will think that you have everything in focus if the prongs are sharp.
I used to think you had to stay at 2.8 to get the perfect bokeh. If a diamond has high prongs it can be almost impossible to get what you need in focus at 2.8. You still can achieve the perfect ring shot at f.4 and beyond so don’t let that scare you. I may make another blog post on this in the near future because there’s a lot to consider when choosing your aperture.
This used to drive me nuts! I always saw specs of color while culling through my images. One quick tip is in Lightroom, use your saturation brush (desaturate) and go over the diamond until the diamond is clear. The diamond will naturally pick up any colors that are around it including your camera lens, clothes, and other elements.
To help the ring stay in place use Dental Wax! It’s transparent and the ring stays exactly where you want it! No more messing with the rings for 10 min to get in a perfect position just to have them fall over in a matter of seconds.
Would you like to learn more tips and tricks on the wedding day? Let’s stay connected! Check out our other posts in our “For creatives” Catagory.
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